Presently. Pettis County has 25 or so known active COVID-19 cases. If all the known COVID-19 patients traveled freely about the community of Pettis County, which has a population of over 42,000 people, the odds of having even casual contact with an infected individual is less than 0.59 per 1000 people. That means that your chance of being exposed to a person with COVID-19 is less than 1 in a thousand. Even that number is probably high, the infection rate seems to increase 1-5 persons per day, which indicates a much lower daily infection rate.
If our county officials are considering requiring masks like Kansas City, and Johnson County, Missouri, which had an increase in over 30 percent in one week, a common sense approach would be a wait and see one. While mandating masks might marginally reduce the number of cases in Pettis County what level of risk are we willing to accept?
We can't totally protect the public from everything. If it were possible, I'm sure the health officials would ban the use of fireworks in the county because of a legitimate concern for injury. Government loves to protect the public from itself. Many years ago, I was involved in immunizing the public with a swine flu vaccine that caused more damage than the flu did.
If local health officials want to look at real concerns they should consider the overuse of caustic sanitizing solutions in our retail stores which will probably generate class action suits when the long term health effects are realized. One can hardly walk into a Walmart now without gagging from the overpowering smell.
As for mandating the use of masks, Governor Parson recently stated the use of a mask should be a personal decision. Common sense should prevail.